Left and Right Must Unite

(4 pm. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

None of us here believe that we have a healthy political situation. You have to be utterly deluded and living in the Matrix to believe that our Presidential elections are anything but tragic reality shows that are mainly staged and mainly fiction. The candidates are surfing the always slightly shifting mythological frameworks of “the people.” These frameworks are shaped and formed by corporate oligarchs in order to 1) make people insensitive to the sufferings of others; 2) make them confuse fantasy and reality; and 3) tell them that the narrow band of possible opinions and choices is “all there is.” The two Presidential candidates claim to be on the right or the left but are neither. They are both conservatives in the sense that they seek to conserve the power of the current oligarchy with slightly different means.

What this election signifies, however, is important. The election may well be about the strength of our social contract. Should we get on with the process of dismantling the social contract that has been in place since FDR? A vote for Romney is a vote for that process of dismantling. A vote for Obama is a vote for keeping it propped up with duct tape and wire. In fact, either way the world that FDR and his “brain thrust” created will shortly be a thing of the past–the question is whether a majority of Americans clearly wants it to end. If they choose Obama they will choose a “soft landing” of that system and perhaps a new minimalist national system can be created–though I doubt it. The oligarchs are so firmly in control at this time that they can easily create the system that works best for them and what works for them is neo-fuedalism.  

What is the solution if we want to avoid or ameliorate the neo-feudalism? The soulution is to unite the libertarian right with the social democratic/socialist/anarchist left. Neither side has a chance without the other. On the surface this seems silly. But, they can make common cause on the essentials.

Issue number one is that these segments of the left and right both favor Constitutional democracy and liberty and the return of habeas corpus and due process and the end of secret police activity against dissenters on both the left and right.

Issue number two is an agreement of pulling back from the imperial project that is costing us so much money and the re-evaluation of national security threats. I believe, as many on the left and right agree, that the so-called War on Terror is phony and en excuse to feed the military-industrial complex and the various intelligence contractors that operate on the edge of legality (and mainly on the other side of legality).

Issue number three is to begin to establish some means to defang the current propaganda/PR/Entertainment structure that dominates national opinion. This would not be done by passing laws but by creating more robust alternative networks and boycotting the major cable and other networks completely and supporting the many diverse alternative networks.

Issue number four would be to agree to disagree by using a series of debates and compromises that would form a possible model of a joint rule through all sides accepting a series of dialectic to arrive at common efforts and compromises that go into the details of what I detailed above.

I believe such a coalition is emerging in miniscule ways somewhat under the radar and is the only hope we have of balancing the power of the oligarchy. Certainly the American left has painted itself into a hopeless corner. There has never been a time when the left in America has been so powerless–even moderate social democrats have no place in the Democratic Party which, despite its rhetoric, is first and foremost taking the place of the Republican Party of George Bush the elder not that of Lyndon Johnson and FDR. The view generally accepted here is that progressives like we find at Daily Kos are perpetually supporting anyone who is not a Republican and that the result is that we are going to gradually lose everything we on the left consider important.

Finally, in my own case, I support the libertarian movement though I’m a social democrat because I currently believe the government is so corrupt (I worked for much of my career as a government contractor) that it has to be dismantled before much good can come of it. Mind you, there are many agencies and extraordinary professional who man/woman them who are doing great work but they are now in a minority and the incentives currently in place are largely perverse. The Federal gov’t today has shifted from a structure that balanced the needs of the people with the needs of the business community. Today the Feds are more interested in benefiting the big players who now control Congress (and thus budgets) not just the corporate community but the community of highly powerful consultancies.

I believe we on the left need to understand that the Feds were, on balance, on “our” side but today they most certainly are not on our side. I saw the system get worse, in part, as a result of the fraud called “downsizing government” which I leave it to you to look into but the net effect was that in brought to power huge and powerful interests who survived by overcharging the government for often inferior services but are kept in the game by revolving doors and the buying off Congress.

I’m asking here for people to entertain the possibility that the situation is now hopeless if you are a true social democrat/socialist or anarchist. Our only hope is to re-establish democratic institutions which are close to being snuffed out (we have no certainty that our votes are counted) and the rule of law that means that whether you are rich or poor you will face, more or less, some equivalent form of justice. As long as clear law breakers at the top can break laws that have major consequences on our lives without fear of being brought to justice we do not have a Constitution democracy. As far as I’m concerned the main opposition activity lies on the Libertarian right and we should be making overtures to them.  


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  1. banger

    The left just doesn’t have the numbers or the influence to do much of anything by itself–what do you think?

  2. David G. Mills

    People Against the NDAA.  Almost all are teabaggers but we all agree the NDAA has got to go.  I get the chance once in a while to straighten out some of their nutty ideas.  I wonder how they can think they are not privileged people when many have had good educations and good jobs.  And they want their privileges (that they don’t acknowledge) to continue.  Many are just downright clueless about corporate and government merger.  But it is a chance to educate.

  3. Compound F

    I read Denninger, e.g..  I respect his calls for Wall Street prosecutions.  He is as crystal clear as Bill Black in that respect.  I’d go so far as to say there are common threads between myself, Denninger, Black,Greenwald, Silber, among other diverse voices, that exceed any loyalty I had to any mythological left that has had the moral vacuity to ally itself with pre-Magna carta democrats and the financial fascists currently in vogue.

  4. Compound F


    You see, [the candidates] are auditioning for the role of someone who pretends to be “running” a country (whatever that means) that is itself not exactly running. It is by now defined by just two things: unstoppable inertia in the wrong direction, and a long list of broken promises. The federal government over which, if elected, they will pretend to “preside” (whatever that means) has two remaining choices: continue with the strategy of hemorrhaging debt and collapse in a few years once that strategy stops working, or don’t continue with that strategy, and collapse now.

    The topic of last night’s get-together was foreign policy. And so here is a country whose diplomats cower behind blast walls afraid for their lives (which they sometimes lose). A country that has lost (in the sense of losing the peace) two major conflicts (Iraq and Afghanistan) and a few smaller ones, and where its efforts in places such as Libya and Syria have only succeeded in destabilizing them. A country whose very expensive military has highest suicide rates in the world and has not been able to pacify any place, even a place that was weak, disorganized, backward or pre-destroyed by other militaries. A country whose main tool of foreign policy is political assassination using Predator drones. From the point of view of electoral politics, it should be clear by now what the goal of foreign policy should be: the goal of foreign policy should be to avoid discussing it, and in this both of the candidates have succeeded admirably.


  5. Mike Taylor

    if the libertarian right and anarchist left could agree that democratic/socialists were right all along about the irrationality of deregulation. You can’t just turn everybody lose and let the big eat the little (which is really what’s going on now).

    If they could just agree on the irrationality of deregulation, there would be a glimmer of hope.

  6. banger

    You see what we need is dialogue–let’s learn from each other and listen to each other. Originally the Tea Party was focused on government bailouts of TBF banks and then the Republican Party hacks took over the movement by injecting lots of money and astro-turfing. Most Tea Party activists are really clueless and have never been exposed to left-wing ideas because they think a Center-right pol like Obama is a socialist because they’ve never been exposed to the full spectrum of left-wing thinking.

  7. banger

    The left just seems inert and more interested in running in circles as it was in the Occupy movement. I thought, at first, that Occupy had found a good way to galvanize people around the issue of the 99% (actually 99.9%). But they squandered the opening and devolved into the usual leftist chaos through lack of discipline and focus which just turned off the American people.  

  8. banger

    He was right in seeing the similarities between the SU and the US but he doesn’t understand that “on Main Street things are not that dysfunctional. They are dysfunctional on the larger stage–Wall Street, Washington and so on–but the country still runs and will continue to run paying their protection money to the large institutions who are utterly corrupt. I agree with Orlov that disaster is coming–I just think we don’t have the social breakdown here that the SU had when it collapsed.

    Having said that, certainly the Presidency is a disaster–in fact, the President despite unprecedented powers like the right to take anyone’s life on a whim, has relatively less power today than a half-century ago. It is the corporate oligarchs that run the country today and the President serves at their pleasure. Theoretically a President could chart an independent course but he would be brought down and everyone knows this.  

  9. Lasthorseman

    All the corporate dweebs have to do is get rid of this minority world population, “us”, to free up problematic resources to ensure sustainable profit margins.

  10. banger

    It depends what regulations you are talking about. Most regulations are now in place to guarantee the continued power of the current oligarchy; so, at this time, I see not net benefit of being pro-regulation. Yes, there were some regs that kept the worst contradictions of capitalism at bay for awhile but that time is over. The virtue of the libertarian position is that we would clear the decks of regs and laws written by corporate lobbyists–because that’s where it’s at right now in Washington. I lived and worked in Washington most of my adult life and I know what happened there to government and it ain’t pretty and you don’t want to support it, trust me.

    How we rein in corporate power right now I don’t know–I see no force other than the libertarian right.

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